Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Top Five Companies We’d Be Better Off Without, #3: McDonald’s

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

those golden arches look a little tarnished

(Just for posting this article, McDonald’s is probably going to sue me and have me thrown in Federal Pounding-in-the-Ass Prision. If that happens, please consider McDonald’s promoted to #1.)

Yes yes, McDonald’s is not alone in its trans-fat strangle-hold on the hearts of people everywhere. Our collective health would certainly be better off if Burger King, Taco Bell, Arby’s, and all those other fast food joints closed up shop. But as the first and largest fast food business, McDonald’s has had plenty of time and money to help it stand out from its competitors… in all the wrong ways.

In case you’re a little behind on the McDonald’s Crimes Against Humanity news, here’s a quick recap:

  • Manslaughter by fat. Okay, so nobody’s forcing you to shove those six Big Macs in your mouth. But McDonald’s, in good conscience, could’ve tried to make them a little bit better for you. In 2002, McDonald’s finally said it would reduce the trans fat content of its food. But McDonald’s didn’t actually reduce it. And McDonald’s didn’t tell anyone it didn’t reduce it. Later it turned out that there was more trans fat in McDonald’s food than it originally admitted.
  • Undermining freedom of speech. A couple of folks bad-mouthed McDonald’s in some leaflets, so McDonald’s sued them, claiming everything in the leaflet was a lie. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, just about everything in the leaflet was the 100% ugly truth, and it found itself having to defend its business practices in what turned into the biggest PR disaster in history.
  • Dirty business tactics. Fast Food Nation should be required reading for anyone walking into McDonald’s, except then you’d die from hunger because you read a book instead of eating. It details some of McDonald’s shady business practices such as its bold political maneuvers and child-targeted advertising all designed to bring in the dollars for the Big M.
  • Disrespecting people’s beliefs. While I’m proud to be a meat-eating man, I totally understand (and secretly admire) those who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. McDonald’s, however, does not. Even after claiming to fix its french fry recipe so that it was 100% vegetarian, it turned out that the fries were still made with various beef extracts. And so are the biscuits. Will someone please explain to me why foods I can make out of potatoes and flour have freaking cow in them???
  • Making children cry. When I was seven years old, I went to McDonald’s for the Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers Happy Meal toys. I had all but one, and it was the last week for the Ranger toys; but my local McDonald’s switched over to the stupid McRobots Changeables a week early. I never got my Gadget. She was so hot for a cartoon mouse.

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